LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Clark County School District and the state's largest teachers union have reached a tentative agreement on how to keep employees' health plans afloat amid financial difficulties for the nonprofit insurance company covering them.
The district on Monday agreed to allow THT Health, the nonprofit health insurance that covers more than 35,000 educators and their dependents, to access three months of the district's contribution payments. The money must be spent "exclusively on the continued operation of THT Health."
The Clark County Education Association (CCEA) has said the money will be used to "accommodate a backlog in claims." In turn, the CCEA has agreed to comply with the district's requests for reporting and transparency in regard to the financial needs of THT Health. It also has said that THT will develop new health plans to "ensure that THT is on the road to financial stability."
According to statements from the CCSD and the CCEA, the continued operation of thousands of educators' insurance plans largely rests on covering several expenses including claims funding, establishing a third party administrator to process claims, and other costs to provide health benefits to CCSD employees. The CCEA cited recent changes in leadership as the beginning of a "new direction."
"THT has already begun taking the first steps by hiring a new CEO and bringing in a new management team. THT welcomes the school district's requests for ongoing reports and will provide any and all information so the district can better understand the medical challenges that THT has gone through, that has put them in this current financial situation," said a press release from the CCEA on Monday.
The school district outlined parameters for selecting a third party administrator. Annual premium costs, match to current plan designs, experiences and referrals with the State of Nevada, face-to-face support options and inclusion of Medicare plans should be considered, the district said.
The CCEA has said it believes the agreement is bringing it closer to ensuring health coverage for its members and their families. It will spend the next 90 days looking for the new administrator, which it expects will provide "key administrative changes."
"With this new direction, CCEA and THT are committed to ensuring that educators and their families not only get the best health coverage possible, but to also make sure those educators with chronically ill conditions have their health needs met," the statement said.
Aside from the agreement, the CCSD has no oversight of THT Health.